Sunday, November 4, 2012

SCSCA Presentation: Cool Tools for Counseling in Schools

Click here to view the presentation
As School Counselors, we are always trying to find ways to reach our students.  My favorite way is engaging students through technology.  So this weekend I presented at the South Carolina School Counselors Conference on Cool Tools for Counseling in Schools. I know I have shared some of these with you on this blog before, but I thought I would share my presentation and some new sites that I have discovered.  You are welcome to download a copy of my notes and links through this Google Doc.
Below are the Cool Tools shared at the conference:

  1. Glogster
    1. Glogster is a free online learning tool that can be used for many purposes.  It allows you to create a digital, interactive poster.  Glogster allows you or students to be creative, engaging and excites learners.  Since it is on the internet, you create a free teacher account and it can be saved on Glogster and shown anywhere.  We have created glogs as part of classroom guidance lessons and parent newsletters.  But it can also be used as an activity for small groups to share what they have learned.
  2. Mp3 Cutter
    1. With free services provided by the "Mp3 cut" website, the mp3 cutting process has become much more simple, fast, and convenient. You will face no difficulties. First, press the "Upload mp3" button, choose the desired file and wait till it is uploaded and ready for processing. As soon as the file is available for editing, (it depends on the speed of your Internet connection) the track will become pink slightly below the indicated button and the play button will become red. Now you can crop mp3. You have two sliders, which indicate the beginning and the end of the song fragment. Got it? Then, press the “Cut mp3 and Download” button. The download will start immediately. Save the file and use it in any of your presentations. Don’t forget the copyright rules of no more than 10% or 30 seconds maximum length.
  3. Pinterest
    1. Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos, and other objects to a pinboard.  Imagine the old cork board that we used to pin up pictures, notes, or memories.  This is a digital version that allows you to save lots of ideas and organize them into multiple cork boards. I save tons of ideas and then when it is time to develop a lesson, I have a bank if visual ideas that I can quickly see and remember. Click here to see an example.
  1. Edmodo
    1. Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for you to connect and collaborate, share content, post polls, calendars, etc.  It looks and acts like Facebook, but is much more secure.  To access any content on Edmodo, a group has to be created and an assigned pin number is used for others to join the group.  We have used Edmodo to create groups for the counselors in our district.  It offers a way to request and share information.  We have also used Edmodo to create small groups for students to participate in discussion about the current topic.  The neat thing about Edmodo is that when a student joins, a parent can also have access to see what their child is posting.  Edmodo allows you to share files stored in a library, share a calendar with assignments due, or create quizzes and polls.
  2. Blogger
    1. A Blog is a personal web site where anyone can write about anything.  They can write as frequently or infrequently as they choose, add pictures, videos, links, and comments.  There are many good School Counselors’ blogs and they share lots of ideas for counseling, lessons, programs and activities. Click here to see my blog.  See a list of other school counselors blogs below.  
  3. Smart Notebook Express
    1. SMART Notebook is a collaborative learning software that not everyone has.  It is not a free resource, until now.  With Smart Notebook Express, you are able to view, save, and interact with SMART Notebook files online, at no charge.
  4. Tagxedo
    1. Tagxedo turns words into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. With Tagxedo you can make your word clouds into different shapes, using different colors and save them as a picture to use later.  See example to the right that we created at the conference using examples of “How does your body feel when you are angry?”
  5. Storybird
    1. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. They’re a fun way for students to share what they have learned. Click here to see a Storybird.

  1. Prezi
    1. Prezi is a cloud based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Prezi is distinguished by its zooming features, which enables users to zoom in and out of their presentation media. Prezi allows you to insert images, videos, and hyperlinks to websites. Take your Powerpoint to the next level! Click here to see an example (this presentation).
  2. Ipad
    1. iPads have lots of free apps that can be used in the educational setting.  As a matter of fact, you can view this Prezi with an app called a Prezi viewer.  Two great apps are Doceri and Nearpod.  Doceri essentially turns your ipad into a remote desktop that can control what is projected on the screen.  By scanning a QR code, Doceri allows you to control your desktop from the freedom of your portable iPad.
    2. Another great app is Nearpod.  By creating a Nearpod account, you can present lessons from your iPad and students can join the presentation with their iPad to see the presentation as you control what is seen on their screen.  It is interactive and allows students to interact with on screen assignments and share their answers with others. To see a video of the demostration from the conference presentation, click here.
    3. See list below for more great apps that can be used by counselors.
  3. YouTube
    1. Youtube has many videos that can teach, motivate, or reinforce lessons.  Be careful that you watch the videos all the way through before sharing with children.  Some may be edited and replaced with inappropriate material. Here is a link to the Youtube video shown at the presentation of the Momma and baby squirrel.

School Counselor Blogs:

iPad Apps:
Nearpod - allows teacher to control student’s iPads, very interactive & engaging
Prezi - zooming presentations
Doceri - control your desktop from your iPad
Socrative Teacher - students can answer quizzes from their iPad
TeacherKit - allows you to create groups/classes, pics of students, keep attendance
Noteshelf (not free) - great for keeping notes organized
iMovie (not free) - great for students to teach/share with others
Stop Go! -young childrens’ timer
Spin the Bottle - Great for selecting students sitting in a group circle
Stick Pick (not free) - for picking students
Sock Puppets - great for younger kids to make puppet plays
Moody Monster - great for younger kids to understand feelings
Fluid - helps students calm down and relax
Scribble Press - create a digital book
Educreations - interactive whiteboard for the iPad
Word Salad - create word clouds on the iPad